Monthly Archives: February 2017

The Physics of Spiderman

The Physics of Spiderman’s Wild New Web Wings
I’m not going to lie. I’m super pumped about Spider-Man: Homecoming. For now, my only outlet would be to do something with the physics of Spider-Man. In this scenario, I’ll have a look at the new net-wings seen in the latest preview. (Watch it down below.) Oh … spoiler alert?

Also, I should note that these net-wings are crazy. A few of the first Spider Man comics showed him using them if they didn’t always show him flying with them. You only have to calm down about that.
Gliding Physics

What occurs when Spider-Man jumps off a building? I am able to model his movement by assuming he’s three forces acting on him—gravity, air drag, and lift. Allow me to say something about every one of those forces.

Gravitation is basically a continuous downward force which is proportional to the mass of Spider-Man (well, at least this is true on the surface of the Earth).
Drag. Imagine moving an object via a giant sea of ping-pong balls. Each collision between the thing and also the balls would apply a small force with this thing. Replace the balls with atmosphere—same thing. The air drag force increases with speed.
Lift. Again, imagine an object -pong balls, but after the collision the balls rebound down in this event. This bounce creates a force perpendicular to the pace on the item. In the event that you replace the ball with air, you get the aerodynamic lift force, which it depends on the angle of the surface area attack and speed of the item.

Now to get a good force diagram of a gliding Spider Man as he is training down.

Drop Sketches 2016 key

In this simplistic model (you are able to make this much more complicated should you enjoy) the aerodynamic lift force is perpendicular to the pace as well as the drag force is in the contrary direction of the pace. To model the motion of Spider-Man with wings, I have to have an expression for these two forces. I will use:

La te xi t 1

All these are simply the magnitudes of the forces that are significant. They truly are essentially exactly the same except for CL (the coefficient of lift) and CD (the coefficient of drag).

However, what about A? This variant symbolizes the cross sectional area of the person (Spider Man in this scenario). It seems that the A for lift and drag should really be different predicated on the angle of attack. Nonetheless, it ought to be noted that I don’t always know what I’m doing. So I will do the same the writers used merely one area for both lift and drag.
Modeling Trajectory

If Spider-Man jumps off a building, how far does he move while falling? It’s not so simple to model the movement of Spider Man considering that the drag and lift forces would depend upon the rate. Actually, the lone way would be with a numerical model in which the movement is broken into tiny steps.

Now for many approximations. First, let me begin together with the surface area of a jumping Spider-Man. Using rough , that are approximations I get:

Fall Sketches 2016 key

This produces an area of about 0.651 m2 with the arm wings and about 0.513 m2 without them. Now for some more estimates:

Coefficient of lift = 1.45 (this is the value they used in that Batman paper)
Coefficient of drag = 0.4 (again, Batman)
Mass = 64 kg
One more assumption: I’m really going to say so the drag and lift coefficients are always the same, the angle of attack is steady. Lift drag and always will likely be perpendicular to the pace is opposite the rate

Without further hesitation, I will jump directly into a numerical model. There are several comments in there to help you use this for your homework assignment. Oh, remember to click the pencil that is “ ” to edit and “play” to run the code

In this model, the red curve shows the trajectory of Spider Man with all the wings along with the blue is his trajectory without wings. I also print out the glide ratio.

Obviously you must use the numerical model to answer a few of these questions. Don’t stress, you can’t bust anything. In case you mess up the code, just reload it and start over.

According to Wikipedia, a wingsuit skydiver has a glide ratio of around 2.5:1 (thus in the program above this would print as only 2.5). Can you fix the code to accomplish this glide ratio? Hint: change both the starting rate as well as the area.
What if Spider Man falls directly down? What would terminal velocity would he reach without, and with, wings?
How quick would Spider-Man need to run horizontally when he first begins flying, so he moves up, not down?
How is it possible for Spider-Man to start with training more down so he may achieve level flight for a short interval and picks up rate?
Can you make a better aerodynamic lift-drag version that takes into account angle of attack? It seems like low rate flight is pretty complicated, although you most likely can.

Let’s Take A Look

Let’s look at some volcanic rumblings and eruptions from the past week:


Mount St. Helens is keeping up its unsettled 2016, this time with another small earthquake swarm. The USGS detected over 120 earthquakes over the previous couple of days, all happening 2-4 kilometers (1-2 miles) beneath the volcano and all very little (less than M1). These earthquakes, such as the ones that happened before this season, are probably caused by magma moving or faults adjusting as pressure changes within the magmatic system underneath Mount St. Helens. It does n’t alter the condition of the volcano: It’s active, taking what’ll probably be a short rest before its next eruption. That could still be years from now.


The ashes floated chiefly to the NNE but luckily no one lives in that direction (or pretty much anywhere close to Shiveluch). Due to air traffic within the area, an orange aviation alert was raised to warn airlines of the Shiveluch ash plume.

Some bits that are brief:

Because of cracking on the volcano antennas on Irazu in Costa Rica will need to be moved. Whether this cracking is related to any potential changes in the volcano or only faulting of surface blocks is cloudy.
A small explosion happened from the peak Halema’uma’u crater at Kilauea when part of the crater wall fell to the lava lake. You see some remarkable chunks of debris fly at the camera, both in the kind of old wall rock and lava in the lava lake and can view video. This can be a fairly common event but can disperse ash and debris across the summit area of the Hawaiian volcano.
A growth in seismicity was noticed at Cayambe in Ecuador. The earthquakes were all small with one as large as M3.6 that lasted a few days. Much like St. Helens, this rumbling is likely merely a hint that the volcano is recharging, but no eruption seems to be forthcoming according the the Instituto Geofísico (IG). The past known eruption from Cayambe was in 1785.